My husband, sister-in-law, her kids and I spent the evening at Riyadh Gallery, a lovely mall located in the North side of the city. I saw the Committee of Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (mutawaeen) for the first time today in the mall. From what I hear, they've relaxed significantly over the years and do not get involved quite as much with Riyadh residents. I think I even saw one of the older religious figures crack a smile;it was not that clear, but I think I saw a twinkle in his eye and a faint smirk buried beneath that thick beard of his. They are basically there to tell women to cover their hair and make sure there aren't any single men or teenage boys bothering (note:picking up) any of the women. Good thing I finally received my Iqama (residence card) in case I strike them as a troublesome figure with my face showing.
Jest aside, God knows best.